Italy wants the European Union to put the brakes on the commission’s proposed ban on the sale of internal combustion engine vehicles. The country’s transport minister, Matteo Salvini, claimed that it makes no “economic, environmental, or social sense.”
Salvini — who is known for his anti-EU stance and once described Vladimir Putin as “the best politician and statesman in the world” — thinks that the EU’s agenda doesn’t help the environment, calling it “pseudo-environmental fundamentalism.” The politician also suggested that tens of thousands of workers would be left unemployed in the face of the stop sale.
Bloomberg reports that Salvini also took issue with the EU’s plans to introduce Euro7 standards by 2025, which aim to reduce the amount of nitrous oxides emitted by a further 25 percent. It’s a notion shared by Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis, who has argued that the extra step will slow down the industry’s switch to electrification.
With electricity prices reaching new highs and some areas of Europe facing the possibility of blackouts in the winter, questions are being raised over the long-term viability of a full-on switch to EV transportation. Switzerland is already considering EV bans if the demand for power in the upcoming months cannot be met, as the possibility of an energy crisis looms.
Meanwhile, Italy has long displayed pushback against the EU’s goal of phasing out ICE vehicles. Earlier this year, Italy was part of a coalition of countries, including Bulgaria, Portugal, Romania, and Slovakia, which proposed postponing the stop-sale date of fossil fuel vehicles to 2040.
And, in 2021, it was reported that the country was in talks with the EU to exempt the nation’s low-volume manufacturers from the ICE ban. Salvini has also previously proposed that the EU hold a referendum on the ruling, suggesting that workers at the Mirafiori plant should be given a say before China is handed an advantage.